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  Words in the News
  The British media debated the safety of Genetically Modified or GM food. There are fears that the food industry has not carried out enough tests on GM products and that the products are not being labelled clearly. We heard from Joan Ruddock MP, from environmental campaigner Joan Ripley and from Julian Morris, a researcher at the Insititute of Economic Affairs.
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Genetically Modified tomatoes

18th February 1999
Genetically Modified food

NEWS 1   I think the industry has been entirely premature in putting this kind of food onto our shelves in our supermarkets. People don't want to eat it, I don't want to eat it. I want a choice and so my concern is that we must have proper labelling.

premature: something is premature when it is done too early or hastily

labelling: the contents or ingredients of a food product are listed on food labels

NEWS 2    Genes are being taken from one species i.e. the frost-resistant gene from the Arctic fish and a copy of that gene is inserted into an unrelated species, into a fruit, into a vegetable, in a way that could never happen in nature. You'd never get a fish mating with a strawberry, to put it bluntly.

Genes: the small parts of material which make up the centre of a cell. Each of these parts controls the development of one of more qualities in a living thing

frost-resistant gene: the gene which protects a living thing from frost

to put it bluntly: to explain something roughly and plainly

NEWS 3   The most significant advantages of genetically modified crops for the developing world are that farmers would have higher yields: they would be able to produce food using fewer inputs: less pesticide, less fertiliser. And often they would be able to produce those foods in conditions that were harsher than at the moment. So, for example, if it was hotter or dryer, they would still be able to produce food using crops that were specifically designed for those conditions.

yields: the amount of food produced

inputs: products which are added to help growth

pesiticide: chemicals which farmers put on their crops to kill harmful insects

fertiliser: chemicals which farmers put on their crops to make crops grow more

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